The world of online dating is vast and growing by the minute. Because the Interwebs are so large, we can’t possibly know about all of the niche online dating sites out there that might appeal to our SingleRoots community. We do some pretty extensive research when we review the best Christian dating sites, but we also rely on readers who let us know or ask us if we’ve heard about different sites.
So thanks to a reader, we found out about Sovereign Grace Singles, a free online dating site for people who share the commonality of Reformed theology. We reached out to Dean Scott, the founder, to hear more about Sovereign Grace Singles. Here’s what he said:
[Interviewed done in August 2013]
SR: What sets Sovereign Grace Singles apart from other online dating sites?
Dean: It is TRULY Christian and not just in name. It is/was founded, owned and run by myself who is “Reformed,” and I actually met my wife on SGS. My son did as well and my pastor’s daughter too! In addition to being Christian, it is limited to the theological niche of only those who are Reformed in theology. We are not trying to be snobbish but have found/believe that agreement in one’s theology and the world view that is determined by it is integral to healthy and Christ-honoring relationships whether they be friend ships or romantic. SGS STRONGLY encourages fellowship between members of the same, as well as the opposite, gender. This is done by Service Activities (such as Katrina Cleanup in New Orleans years ago), cruises, skiing, snowmobiling and other fellowship outings that SGS members have initiated, not just those organized by SGS it’s self. Healthy relationships of all kinds are best begun and grow in and with others in the Christian community.
SR: So, it’s a free online dating site? Like, REALLY free? Or free with a catch?
Dean: Yes, totally free. No “bait and switch.” All features are totally free. SGS was paid a couple of years ago but went free when the active membership began to decline due to economic conditions effecting singles who often have little discretionary income.
It is possible, however, that sometime in the future (distant future) SGS could go paid again, but there are no plans whatsoever to do that at this time.
NOTE: Since this interview, SGS has moved to paid membership. Visit SovereignGraceSingles.com for up-to-date pricing.
SR: Do people have to agree with Calvinist theology to sign up? What if someone who is not specifically-Calvinist wants to use the site?
Dean: Yes, they must agree to the Doctrinal Statement . Amos 3:3 would represent why this is the case.
I’m sure there are members who have created profiles who do not agree with the Doctrinal Statement but they usually don’t stay around long as they are not in the company of singles which whom they share beliefs.
SR: How many members does Sovereign Grace Singles have? How many people have met on the site and then gotten married?
Dean: SGS has only about 1200 members. They are automatically deleted after a year of inactivity to help maintain the integrity of SGS by not showing members who are not truly active or have not been within a year.
I do not have exact numbers of how many couples have met and married via SGS but I would estimate about 70. I often hear about their meeting when I am sent “THANKS!” when their first child arrives! Wow… what an honor, no?
SR: What is one thing you wish Christian singles would remember when it comes to online dating?
Dean: Wow…this could be a huge answer but I would encourage them to involve as many of their Christian friends and family as possible in the “dating” (SGS strongly endorses “courtship”) process. The internet, by it’s very nature, is seductive as it allows one to create a reality that isn’t so. We can desire a relationship so much that we unconsciously ignore things we shouldn’t and see what we want to see. Having a health group of peers, friends, pastors and parents involved will greatly limit this possibility and there is accountability.
I Kissed Dating Goodbye is an excellent book addressing this subject. It is applicable for singles of all theological persuasions, however its author, Josh Harris, is himself Reformed in theology.
*Dean was also recently interviewed as part of a panel on Moody Radio about whether or not online dating is for Christians. You can check out his interview here.
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